Marriott’s been making lots of changes ever since the programs merged back in August. Unfortunately they aren’t done making changes yet. It’s getting really hard and confusing to keep up with everything. From the articles we have been able to cover in the past 6 months they have had premium properties leave, refused to honor reservations at a property that left, and changed categories on rooms on a handful of properties already.
Coming soon to a Marriott Property Near You
Marriott’s latest approach to loyalty is to punish members for joining with a long list of confusing terms and conditions rather than actually reward members. From what I can tell there’s still a lot more negative coming and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
Lets start with the irrelevant
Marriott Bonvoy officially launches February 13, 2019. Bonvoy is just another way for them to rebrand their merged program. Platinum Premier will become Titanium, and Platinum Premier with Ambassador gets rebranded as Ambassador.
- 380 hotels are changing category ~5% of the overall portfolio
- 340 hotels are going up in category
- 40 hotels are going down in category
- Category 8 is coming on March 5.
- Peak and Off Peak awards start at a later date in 2019, but they are eventually coming
- UPDATE: Marriott is now planning on honoring the current rates on points advance reservations after properties change category, so book your points advance reservation now
Marriott’s Talking Points
- Of all participating hotels, 1 percent are decreasing, and 4 percent are increasing in point cost with 95 percent remaining unchanged.
- Fewer hotels are moving up this year than in the past – over the past 5 years between 10 – 15 percent of the portfolio went up a category.
- Ninety-one percent of all hotels require between 7,500 – 35,000 points per night.
- Members can save up to 25K points per night by redeeming points for one of the 62 luxury properties in Category 7 that are slated to move to Category 8 on March 5.
Marriott suddenly changing the rules is nothing new. It’s shady, it sucks and they need to learn there are consequences to destroying loyalty. It shouldn’t take a law degree to understand loyalty and program terms and conditions. This whole situation is similar to how Marriott stripped away promised reservation at Le Meridien Tahiti and have left their customers with absolutely no resolution, short of a refund. I know that many of you will probably disagree with this sentiment, but where is the government oversight like we have with contract of carriage on airline tickets. It’s time to regulate the nefarious behavior of hotels.